Cougars Roll Over Dragons 45-10 in Home Opener
SIOUX FALLS, SD -- The University of Sioux Falls rolled to a lopsided 45-10 victory over Minnesota State University Moorhead in their home-opener Saturday at Bob Young Field. In addition to Military Day, fans enjoyed what they have come to expect from USF at home, where the Cougars are now 37-1 all-time. USF moves to 2-0, while MSUM falls to 0-2 on the season.
Electing to receive the ball first, the Cougars didn't waste any time getting on the board. Senior tailback Kristian Porter nearly scored on the first play from scrimmage, breaking out for a 54 yard gain before being pulled down at the Dragon five yard line. Two plays later, senior quarterback Taylor Perkins would find Carrington Hanna across the middle for a one yard score and early 7-0 advantage.
It was all USF from there on. Aggressive defensive by the Cougars led to more offense. Redshirt cornerback John Tidwell picked off Myles Montplaisir on MSUM's 33 yard line to give the home team another short field. This time Perkins found his other favorite target, Jeremiah Oates who straddled the back of the endzone for an elegant 25-yard touchdown near the three minute mark of the first quarter.
Porter and Hanna would each reach the endzone a second time in the second quarter for the Cougars, who would close out the first half with a commanding 28-0 lead.
The Cougars waited until the third quarter to have their best offensive period of the early season, dialing up a score through the air, on the ground and on a kick.
As if Hanna didn't do enough in his home debut at receiver, he also showed he could be productive at quarterback. The Cal Pen transfer, reconnected with his go to target from a year ago, Oates, for a 31 yard strike and score.
Following the seventh consecutive punt by MSUM, the Cougars capped an eight play drive with a Braden Wieking field goal from 30 yards out with 8:38 left in the third.
USF wrapped up their offensive highlights by showcasing their speed on the outside. On the first play of the ensuing drive, first-year wide out Kendrick Celestine went 52 yards untouched on a reverse to put the Cougars up 38-0.
After coming up empty on 13 straight drives, the Dragons scored twice in the final eight minutes of the game. Jake Hodge found Tyler Rivard on a 17 yard post near the eight minute mark and Wes Kramer converted a 21 yard field goal with 1:22 to play.
The Cougar defense turned in another stellar performance, forcing MSUM into nine punts, three turnovers and just 238 total yards offense. USF nearly matched last week's production in the opponent backfield with nine TFLs (21).
Senior linebackers Matt White and Nick Bonte led USF with six tackles each. Senior safety Robert Virgil added three tackles, one interception and two pass breakups. His interception marks four games straight he has recorded at least one.
USF's offense had another explosive day, racking up 472 yards, including 258 on the ground. Porter marked the first player to eclipse the 100-yard rushing mark this season. He traveled 117 yards on 14 carries and tallied one TD.
Hanna and Oates combined for 168 receiving yards and four scores. The big play receivers recorded scores of 31 and 61 yards.
Perkins was efficient under center, posting 170 yards and three touchdown passes on 21 attempts. Redshirt Freshman Calvin Jacobson took his first snaps and completed his first pass as a Cougar. Hanna also added a touchdown pass.
Next, the Cougars travel to Minot, N.D. for a 2:30 p.m. conference match up with a familiar opponent in Minot State.
Courtesy: University of Sioux Falls